What You Need To Know About Ticks and Your Pets
The snow has melted and the grass is getting greener by the day. These are the days we look forward to all winter! These are also the days those pesky ticks look forward to as well.
What is a tick? To the common eye some ticks can be mistaken for a spider. They are, after all, classified in the same family of arachnids. Similar to a spider, adult ticks have four pairs of legs and no antennae. With multiple life stages, ticks are determined to find a host for feeding and continue the blood sucking cycle. That host could be us or our beloved floofins.
There are two groups of ticks, “hard” and “soft” ticks. However, there are over 15 species of ticks in Illinois according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. The good news, only about five of those species are encountered by people. The most common types of ticks include, American Dog Tick, Lone Star Tick, Blacklegged Tick (aka Deer Tick), Brown Dog Tick, and the Winter Tick.
Ticks only have the ability to crawl so don’t worry about a tick flying off a tree branch into your hair. They make their way upwards by climbing to the tips of tall vegetation.
Keeping the area around your home unattractive to ticks is key to tick control. You know the tall grass that grows along your fence line? They love that! Wood piles, shrubs, weeds, and forested areas are also common homes for ticks. Stay in the middle of a trail when walking through a wooded area. After spending time outside it’s important to check your body and your pets for any ticks. The following are favorite areas on our body and our pets ticks seem to love: